‘Blurred Lines’ not a red flag for rape

September 10, 2014 — by Falcon staff

Singer Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” has stirred controversy since the song’s release in March 2013. His upbeat and catchy single quickly topped charts worldwide, was nominated for prestigious awards and lavished fame upon the artist; nevertheless, popularity comes with a price. Critics accused Thicke of promoting rape in both his music video and lyrics.

With their chains, cigarettes and martinis, three scantily clad women surround singer Robin Thicke as they cozy up to him. Topless and pouty-lipped, the girls are one piece of clothing away from being nude.

Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” has stirred controversy since the song’s release in March 2013. His upbeat and catchy single quickly topped charts worldwide, was nominated for prestigious awards and lavished fame upon the artist; nevertheless, popularity comes with a price. Critics accused Thicke of promoting rape in both his music video and lyrics.

The over-the-top nature of his music video isn’t anything noteworthy, since just about every music video on the web portrays girls in this manner. We don’t necessarily agree with this oversexualization of women, but it’s wrong to aim the attack only at Thicke, while numerous other artists are equally “guilty,” if not more so.

In “Blurred Lines,” Thicke’s lyrics are neither anti-feminist nor rape-promoting. He respects women, presenting the backstory between an abusive boyfriend and the girl in his lyrics. He elaborates on this situation, saying, “He was close, tried to domesticate you /…/ Just let me liberate you.”

Unlike her previous pursuer, Thicke doesn’t try to control her but rather values her choice and independence. He tells the girl that “you don’t need no papers,” suggesting that he does not view the girl as property and declares that the other man “is not [her] maker,” further developing the idea that she is her own entity.

In his controversial lyrics such as “he don’t pull your hair like that,” Thicke is simply flirting and boasting about how he is much better than other men in terms of making love, not promoting abuse.

He also sings, “The way you grab me/must wanna get nasty” and “I know you want it,” both of which could seem as if he intends on forcing sex on her. Ultimately, however, he invites the girl to make the first move, as is supported by “go ahead, get at me” and "I’ll just watch and wait for you to salute."

When he says that he hates these “blurred lines,” he refers to his preference of blunt consent over her unclear intentions.

Many people react distastefully to “Blurred Lines” because they believe it objectifies women and encourages sex without consent. We fully understand that rape is a highly sensitive topic; however, people are too quick to “detect vice” without considering any other possibility, and anything that is slightly questionable in this field is immediately gunned down as sexist.

We acknowledge that these lyrics may be disturbing to rape victims and anyone who has unease with sexual abuse. Our point is that Thicke’s song does not promote rape, contrary to popular belief, and does not deserve such fierce denunciation.